Rapper Common is hoping to make his Broadway debut as boxer Jack Jefferson in The Great White Hope.

The Light hitmaker has reportedly auditioned to take on the role made famous by James Earl Jones in the 1967 production of Howard Sackler's play.

According to the New York Post, Common's reading for producers was "excellent," but financing is standing in the way of the show's return to the stage.

The 41 year old has reportedly offered to help pay for the production.

The Great White Hope centred on a boxer fighting in the era of racial segregation in the U.S. and was a fictionalised story about the life of boxing champion Jack Johnson.

Jones earned a Best Actor in a Play Tony Award for his performance.